Saturday, October 26, 2019

Two-Paragraph Review: In the Tall Grass (2019)

Like the Bird Box, Netflix is chasing, at least as far as I can tell, some kind of a cooking-cutter way of making decent horror movies. They all have a simple premise and use their star actors more than scenography, props or anything like that. In the Tall Grass, the relatively unknown main protagonists are aided by Patrick Wilson's character as they are all lost in a strange field from which no one can escape.

All of this is based on Stephen and Joe King novella by the same name and yes, like all horror things King, it manages to stick to the wall (somehow). The movie, in turn, seems to want little more than the same wall-sticking ability - it is not A Quiert Place nor does it aim that high. It is able to entertain and it fails to be overtly stupid or comical (unlike the much more expensive Bird Box). While it does that, it starts and ends as a microwave-ready horror film but which carries no greater ambition than to be just that.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Two-Paragraph Review: In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

It seems like people who want to make a time travel movie these days immediately say to themselves: how can we make our time travel a never-before-seen thing? Surprisingly, they are often quite good at this. Predestination managed to pull it off to a degree, while the much older Primer does the same on a low-budget yet marvelous level. In the Shadow of the Moon is not exactly the cream of the crop, but it does offer something engaging and mysterious, while it skillfully navigates its way around any potential pitfalls.

Naturally, I’m not talking about physics or time travel mechanics, these are always full of holes (apart from the brilliant Primer). Here, I’m thinking more about the actual plot and how it relates to the main characters - in this case, a cop who witnesses a mysterious case of murders and manages to stop the suspect back in the 1980s. Yet, every nine years, the same murder pattern seems to occur again and again. As the mystery deepens, so does the traction the film has, all the while cleverly connecting it to the main character and the people around him. This ends as a not a very innovative time travel mystery, but one that does try to convey something beyond a pulpy sci-fi tale.